Plyometric drills are special exercises designed to help athletes develop both speed and strength. When doing plyometric drills, you stretch muscles and then contract them rapidly. The reason you stretch the muscles first is that it allows them to then contract with greater speed and intensity. Movements are sometimes described as explosive because they are rapid, in order to develop speed and the kind of coordination needed in order to move quickly during sports like basketball.
It’s important to do these exercises correctly and safely in order to avoid injury so it’s best to begin a routine under the supervision of a coach or personal trainer who can show you the proper techniques. If you have knee problems or other conditions that make high impact exercises risky for you, then these exercises may not be right for you. However, the American Council on Fitness and the National Strength and Conditioning Association, as well as other fitness related organizations, do believe plyometric drills are safe for most people if done correctly.
Left Foot, Right Foot Touches
Left foot, right foot touches help basketball players develop foot speed, an important skill for the game. It also helps them develop leg strength, which will allow them to jump higher.
Start out with your left foot flat on the floor and your right foot lifted in front of you.
Move your left foot to the front while swinging your right foot back. Picture a pendulum in a big grandfather clock. Keep your right foot off the ground.
Then move your left foot back while swinging your right foot forward, again like a pendulum.
Move as quickly as you can but be sure to keep your balance. It’s OK to start out slow and increase your speed as you gain strength and coordination.
Repeat the motions with your left foot on the ground for 30 seconds, then switch to your right foot on the ground. Rest for about 30 seconds after that, then do it one more time. You can work your way up to more repetitions over time.
These drills help basketball players develop foot speed, strength and coordination.
Start with both feet flat on the floor and your knees bent just slightly.
Jump six to eight inches to one side, then back as quickly as you can. Think of the motion you would make when skiing.
Move quickly. Your feet should barely touch the ground when you land from each jump before lifting off again.
Practice these plyometric drills for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds, then do it again. You can work your way up to more repetitions over time.
This exercise strengthens the legs of basketball players and helps them develop their jumping skills.
Start with both feet flat on the floor and knees bent so that you are in a squatting position.
Quickly straighten your legs and jump as high as you can, coming back down to land in a squatting position.
Repeat 10 to 12 times, without resting in between jumps. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat. You can work up to more repetitions over time.
Split Squat Jump
These plyometric drills also develop leg strength and speed, as well as coordination.
Start in a lunge position, with your left leg extended in front of you and your right knee bent.
Jump into the air and slightly forward, using the calf muscles in your right leg to propel your body up and forward.
While in the air, switch legs so that you land with your right leg extended in front of you and your left knee bent.
Repeat 10 to 12 times, then rest for 30 seconds before repeating again. You can work up to more repetitions over time as you grow stronger.